As Scott Schebler stepped in the batter’s box for his first plate appearance Friday against the Washington Nationals, a familiar but unexpected melody graced his ears. The opening chords of Marvin Gaye’s “Sexual Healing” blared over the loudspeakers at Great American Ball Park.
The Cincinnati Reds outfielder has heard a variety of songs as he’s stepped to the plate this year. For about a month he directed ballpark operations to play something different each time. But “Sexual Healing” got his attention.
“I don’t want to be hearing my walk-up song when I go to the plate,” Schebler said. “I should be concentrating on the at-bat. We’ll get that straightened out.”
(For what it’s worth, Schebler got an infield hit and then stole second in that inning.)
Schebler began the year using “Sabotage” by The Beastie Boys as his walk-up song. Then, for about a month, he asked that something new be played until he struck upon something he liked. After that, he stuck with “Cochise” by Audioslave for a while.
But before Friday’s game, Schebler told Reds director of promotional events and player relations Corey Hawthorne to switch it up again. Schebler’s teammates started shouting out suggestions purposefully ill-fitting for a guy who drops “Geez Louise” into conversation often.
Schebler really wanted some instrumentals. He did get one — an instrumental of an Aaliyah song before his second at-bat — but then walked up to Jay-Z’s “Big Pimpin'” on his third trip to the plate. For his fourth, it was back to “Sexual Healing.”
“I assume that’s what they were telling him to play,” Schebler said sheepishly. “We’ll get that straightened out. I’m not really a guy that’s going to walk up to…